In a 5-4 vote, the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education voted tonight to elect Wayne Eastman as its new President, replacing Beth Daugherty.
The five votes for Eastman were from Madhu Pai, Jeff Bennett, Donna Smith, Johanna Wright and Eastman himself. Daugherty received votes from Maureen Jones, Elizabeth Baker, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad and herself.
Pai was elected First Vice President of the board with votes from Eastman, Pai, Bennett, Smith and Wright. Wright was elected Second Vice President with votes from the same coalition. Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad was nominated for both positions, receiving four votes each time — from Daugherty, Jones, Baker and Lawson-Muhummad.
Wright proved to be the swing vote. Eastman, Pai and Bennett ran as a ticket in 2012. Eastman hosted a reception for Donna Smith during her successful campaign for election last fall. But Wright, who ran a solo campaign in the fall of 2013, was previously un-allied.
Daugherty had served as President of the Board of Education since May 2011, when she succeeded Mark Gleason. Upon his election, Eastman immediately thanked Daugherty for her service, calling her “loyal,” “hardworking” and “dedicated.”
Also at tonight’s Board of Education Reorganization meeting: Donna Smith, Elizabeth Baker and Maureen Jones were sworn in for three-year terms to the nine-person board. All three women are newly elected to the board.